Category Archives: Leadership

Changing Food and Climate: An Engagement Journey Begins

Changing Food and Climate: An Engagement Journey Begins

One of the biggest challenges with developing Greenpeace’s Less Is More campaign to reduce industrial meat & dairy worldwide was deciding how we could campaign to change people’s mindsets on how eating cheap meat and dairy they eat while also campaigning in a more traditional way to compel governments to take meaningful action to stop subsidizing the worst practices.

This need to balance positive solutions campaigning with our more tried-and-true techniques would have to be evident in our digital approach as well. I was tasked to being the project lead on the Less Is More website to come up with some solutions for Greenpeace offices all over the world to encourage people to make small steps to change food for the sake of our planet, especially in mitigating climate change.

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Adventures in Virginia’s Renewable Energy Fights

Adventures in Virginia’s Renewable Energy Fights

In summer and autumn 2017, there was a palpable sense of grassroots, progressive energy across the state of Virginia. After all, it was the first major state election cycle since the advent of the Trump administration. I had spent a lot of volunteer time in 2017 working on Fairfax County renewable energy issues at the county supervisor and school board level for much of the year and also speaking as a Climate Reality Leader.

Whenever I had the chance, I reminded people how critical it was to vote in the state election as most climate progress could only be achieved at the state level with Trump in the White House. In fact, fellow environmental activists managed to rally more than 100 people confront then gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam during one community event on his wishy-washy stance on the Atlantic Coast and WB Xpress pipelines. Citizens stressed that the projects would increase our carbon footprint and create more price increases for taxpayers. We let several Democrats know this cycle that business as usual and doing the bidding of Dominion Energy was no longer acceptable. Continue reading

Taking Your House Solar: Five Things You Should Know

Taking Your House Solar: Five Things You Should Know

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It’s not easy being a solar guinea pig. But in the Commonwealth of Virginia, that’s what many of us have become. I’m talking about the thousands of others like me rolling the dice to solarize their home and see if it pays off despite an unfriendly atmosphere. At times, it can feel a little bit like you’re on your hamster wheel going around in circles. Solar energy in Virginia is still in its primordial phase.

The state ranks an abysmal 38th out of 50 states, according to Solar Power Rocks.  Virginia boasts anemic state tax credits, rock bottom renewable energy credits, weak RPS laws (which encourage diversification to more renewables) and lots of other impediments. We’re talking about a meager 241 megawatts compared to 1,591 megawatts in Massachusetts.  Much of this is due to the dominance of one power company, Dominion Energy (feel free to swing by their Facebook page to give them a piece of your mind after this post). They dictate not only what kind of power most customers get but also dictate terms to legislators in the capital of Richmond.

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Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project: Getting Inspired to Lead On Climate

Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project: Getting Inspired to Lead On Climate

Greetings from Denver! I’m still processing the incredibly inspiring three days I spent at the Colorado Convention Center with roughly 1,000 other people who were lucky enough to be selected as part of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps. As if I didn’t have enough to do working on fighting climate change at Greenpeace!

Seriously, the reason I began investigating the work of the Climate Reality Project is because my current Greenpeace portfolio keeps me focused squarely on food and sustainability issues internationally, especially our addiction to heavy-meat diets. Since Greenpeace doesn’t currently have an active food campaign in the United States, I find that I spend most of my time thinking about cows and chickens overseas.

Yet as an American citizen living in the age of a Trump presidency,  I felt compelled to devote some of my time in environmental battles certain to take place inside the United States in the next four years. I’m tremendously concerned about Trump’s threat to pull out of the historic Paris Climate Accords, his appointments of climate denier Scott Pruitt to the EPA (who thinks CO2 doesn’t contribute to global warming), former Texas Governor Rick Perry to the Department of Energy (who couldn’t even remember the department he now runs) and ex-Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson (a company that lied about climate impacts to the public) to the State Department. I just couldn’t sit on the sidelines. Since all politics are local, why not focus on civic engagement, local politics, renewable energy and climate change at the local level – in my case, the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.?

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